We continue to wonder what kind of punishment, if at all, the NFL will Levy against Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the alleged incident that happened with a female Uber driver in March of 2016 in Arizona.
Now, a Tallahassee radio host talked about Wednesday afternoon what he claims is insight into the situation. And, if what he was saying on the radio is true, the Buccaneers and Winston are looking at a multiple game suspension. However, there is now conflicting information about the radio report.
First, Jeff Cameron is the radio personality in Tallahassee that made the claims on his afternoon show Wednesday. For some background, Cameron station is the ESPN Radio affiliate in the market and he has been on radio in Tallahassee for more than 15 years.
Cameron also has a close relationship with Winston, his family, and circle a friends/advisors. So much so, that Cameron was invited to be at Jameis Winston’s personal draft party in Alabama the night the Bucs took him #1 overall in April of 2015.
Here is in part what Cameron said on the radio show Wednesday afternoon about what he says the Winston Camp is saying to him (an important distinction) about what they expect to happen:
“The Winston camp is prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind,” Cameron said. “The thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I’ve been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It’s also likely that it’s less than that and it’s one game.”
Again pay close attention to “the thought from the Winston camp.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean it is what will happen. And oftentimes advisors, lawyers agents, etc. prepare the person they’re representing for the worst. So, that part lines up with what could happen.
Furthermore, and this is important, Winston claims there is a witness not only that what went on, but that witness, his former FSU teammate and now Philadelphia Eagle, Ronald Darby, is the one that was actually in the front seat with the Arizona female Uber driver in March of 2016.
As we have been writing and reporting, you have to believe by now the NFL has taken Winston statement and the his side of the story. And further, you have to believe that they’ve at least spoken to Darby by now about his involvement or what he saw happen or didn’t happen.
Now, on the point about Winston being in jeopardy for “failure to report to the NFL.” Cameron talked about this on the Wednesday radio show. And, the NFL obviously could suspend Winston for a game for that reason. And, that may very well be what the NFL eventually does later this summer.
While the female Uber driver filed a report with Uber, she never filed criminal or civil complaints against Winston. Still, Uber believed the driver enough that they elected to ban Winston from their service for life.
He knew that there had been an accusation, had been banned and he appealed that with Uber eventually denying his appeal.
So, if the NFL wants to rule that he should have told them about what was going on and that’s a violation of the personal conduct policy, they have grounds for that.
However, as Rick Stroud, who is the longtime 25 year Buccaneer beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, was pointing out on social media Wednesday night: he believes “failure to report” does not rise to the level of a multiple game suspension
Instead, the multiple game suspension would come from the NFL having evidence of some kind of verification of the accuser story and what Winston, actually did.
Here is another report from a Bucs themed website that claims to have been speaking to what they say is “a league source.” And that source, tells the site that pieces of the story on both sides don’t add up.
And therefore the NFL is in the middle of a “she said-he said” situation and trying to figure out who to believe.
This brings us back at the likelihood that Winston would, at most, be suspended a game or the NFL may do nothing at all standing behind that they could not substantiate what she told them.
Another important point that we have raised previously is: we do not know how cooperative the accuser has been and all of this.
And. the NFL is doing a disservice to everyone, including Winston and the Buccaneers, the longer they continue to drag this out, at now 10 months and counting.
The Buccaneers are slated to open the regular season at New Orleans and then will play in week 2 in their home opener against the Eagles. If you’re wondering what the third game Winston would potentially miss according to this report? It’s a Monday night home showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Also, it’s important to note that even if there’s a suspension of any kind/length, Winston will still participate in training camp and preseason games before the hypothetical suspension would take place in the regular season.
Gameday- Bucs searching for win in New York
Who: Bucs (3-6) at Giants (2-7)
When: Sunday 1 p.m.
Where: Metlife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Spread: Giants by 2 1/2 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Here’s what to watch:
Bucs Must be better in Red Zone
There is no disputing of the Buccaneers move the football between the 20 yard lines last week to the tune of 500 yards of total offense. There’s also no disputing that the Bucs were 0 – 5 in the red zone on scoring points and lost 16 – 3.
Tampa Bay ran 12 plays last week in the red zone and had -8 yards to show for them. That has to be better against a Giant defense that has been vulnerable. Some of that is the fault of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (above), who has five turnovers in the last two Bucs games, and two of those were inside the opponent’s 20 last week.
Further, in their last three games the Bucs are 27th in red zone touchdown percentage converting on just 41.6% of them.
It’s Not the Only key for the Buccaneers offense, but if they get inside the 20 yard line, it’s a big one.
Pressure Eli Manning
One area where the Buccaneers have to have an impact if they want to win is putting pressure on Eli Manning. He has been knocked around like a pinata this season, as the Giants have given up 3.6 sacks per game so far this year. That’s 31st in the league.
Their protection was better in the Monday night 27-23 win over the 49ers, where Manning was only sacked once.
Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has registered eight sacks so far this season in nine games and is anxious to have a chance to hit Eli Manning for the first time in his career.
If Manning consistently gets time to throw, the Buccaneers are going to be in big trouble.
The Buccaneers have been horrible in this category with just 6 takeaways so far in 9 games. That is 31st in the NFL trailing only San Francisco with five. Also the Buccaneers turnover differential is the worst in the NFL at – 19.
Now, the Giants aren’t much better. In fact they have only 9 takeaways on the season, but their turnover margin is just – 1.
It’s safe to say then if either team can take it away two or maybe three times in this game, it will likely decide who wins.
Final injury updates for Bucs and Jaguars Sunday games
As the Buccaneers get set to head to New York to play the Giants and the Jaguars are preparing to host the Steelers Sunday, it’s time to take a look at the injuries in those two games. (Reminder the Dolphins have their bye week for this weekend.)
Here’s a look at the latest:
For the Bucs, there Friday injury report has defensive names littered all over it and the news is not good for some of them.
After we were told by a source that Lavonte David was going to try to play Sunday, he apparently was overruled by the training staff and head coach Dirk Koetter, etc, and the Pro Bowl linebacker will be inactive with his sprained knee. Likewise, Vinny Curry will miss another game at defensive end, his fourth in the last five with a sprained ankle.
It’s the same situation with second year safety Justin Evans, who will miss the game with an injured toe suffered in the game with Washington last week. Defensive end Carl Nassib, who’s been a pleasant find off the waiver wire at the beginning of the season, is questionable with a left elbow injury suffered agains the Redskins, although he was able to practice on Friday.
The Bucs also list their receiver Chris Godwin as questionable with an ankle injury, and another important injury is starting center Ryan Jensen, who’s questionable with a hamstring injury. If Jensen is unable to play Sunday, then Ali Marpet, starting at left guard this year, but who played center a lot of 2017, would likely take his place.
The Buccaneers opponents, the Giants, had four players on their injury list this week, but all of them are now slated to play in the game on Sunday.
For the Jaguars match-up, they have two significant injuries to update, starting linebacker Telvin Smith was able to practice this week with his shoulder injury and is listed as questionable, but expected to play against Pittsburgh. There is concern for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus with a triceps injury and he is also listed as questionable. Dareus will likely be a game time decision.
Defensive back A.J. Bouye has been bothered by a calf injury, but he is also expected to play after being able to practice Thursday and Friday and listed as questionable. Coach Doug Marrone also announced that tackle Erik Flowers, who left last week’s game with tendonitis in his knee will start on the makeshift Jaguars line.
As we wrote earlier in the week, Jacksonville placed Center Brandon Linder on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered in last week’s lost Indianapolis.
The Steelers have no significant injuries, despite Ben Roethlisberger and James Conner both being on the injured list,. They will both be playing on Sunday. Connor was a much bigger concern having been in concussion protocol earlier after suffering one in the win last Thursday night over Carolina.
However, he cleared the protocol and was able to fully practice this week.
Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul ready to go get Eli Manning Sunday
It’s one of those juicy subplots that we see all the time now in professional sports. A player gets to go against his old team and show them that maybe they made a mistake and letting him go. In this case on Sunday, Bucs defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will battle against his old team, the New York Giants. And that means, against a lot of former teammates.
One in specific, quarterback Eli Manning, maybe less than thrilled.
JPP has been one of the most dominant edge rushers in the NFL over the last decade, nevertheless, the Giants elected to trade into the Buccaneers back in March.
So when the organization that you won the Superbowl with in 2011 has decided to move on without you, there’s naturally going to be some questions from the media about you playing against them for the first time. And, you going against their borderline Hall of Fame signal-caller, Manning.
Such was the case Wednesday in the Buccaneers locker room prior to practice:
"It's been checked off since I left there, and I'm pretty sure they know I'm bringing the house down. At the end of the day, it is what it is. I just know once I get there I'm going to be going 100 percent."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) November 14, 2018
Pierre-Paul has already energized the Bucs pass rush and has eight sacks in the first nine games. This includes a streak of five consecutive games with a sack earlier this season. That is the first time since Simeon rice in 2002 that a Buccaneer had five straight games with a sack in a single season.
And coming into Sunday at The Meadowlands he has 66 1/2 of them in his career and would love nothing better than to take down the leader of the G-Men.
And while the Giants did look better on offense in their Monday night comeback win over the 49ers, it has clearly been a struggle for them to pass protect, specifically, throughout the early part of this season.
Pierre-Paul has to have been salivating watching their offensive line whiff and get run over in game after game.
Further, Buccaneer defenders like pro bowlers Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, plus players like Will gholston Brent Grimes and young safety Justin Evans went against Manning in a Tampa Bay’s win last September against the Giants.
A game that the Buccaneers squeaked out 25-23. A game where is Eli Manning threw it 49 times and wasn’t sacked once by the Buccaneers front seven. That’s a pass rush that was last in the NFL in sacks a year ago.
However, that was 2017. And, circling back to Pierre-Paul, he hopes to change that starting Sunday.
And, while it will be weird for him to dress in the visiting dressing room at MetLife Stadium and stand on the visiting near sidelines, he’s ready to put all of that aside, try to help the Bucs climb off the canvas and get a win in the Big Apple.
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